Wanaka Sun       

Lake Hawea forest fire contained

Posted at 10:10am Saturday 03 Nov, 2018 | By Ruth Blunt editor@thewanakasun.co.nz

Emergency services continue to patrol and monitor the site of yesterday's forest fire to the south-west of Lake Hawea township.

Mark Mawhinney, deputy principal rural fire officer for Central Otago, said four ground crews are working with hoses and hand tools to mop up and contain spot fires in about 5ha of forest on the slopes of Mount Maude.

Helicopters remain are on stand-by should they be needed again.

“The fire is not spreading at this stage. Given the strength of the wind and the fact that the fire didn't spread overnight we're comfortable with the current situation. We don't foresee any further risk to structures or property,” Mawhinney said.

Emergency services will continue to monitor the affected area for at least the next two days.

“I would like to thank all agencies, contractors and individuals involved with what appears to have been a very successful operation. The patience and support of the local community, especially the management and staff of the Lake Hawea Hotel, has been very much appreciated, ” he said.

Evacuated residents are expected to be able to return to their homes later today.

State Highway 6 (SH6) between Lake Hawea and Wanaka is currently open but there has been some rock falls in the affected area. Drivers are urged to use caution when passing Lake Hawea Holiday Park and Capell Avenue.

A fire investigator is currently on site looking into the cause and exact starting point of the fire. FENZ is requesting that members of the public with any photographs or video of the fire in its early stages email material to help with the ongoing investigation to Mark Mawhinney at mark.mawhinney@fireandemergency.nz.

Those involved in the operation include New Zealand Police, Department of Conservation, Otago Civil Defence and Emergency Management, New Zealand Transport Agency, Queenstown Lakes District Council and FENZ crews from Lake Hawea, Wanaka, Makarora, Luggate, Tarras, Dunstan, Blackstone (Omakau) and Glenorchy.



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